Focus on the Family


Focus on the Family Global Ministry Development

Sharing God's Love Worldwide

Egypt Housing Project

VOICELESS VICTIMS of the all-out assault on Ukraine are not left unscathed by the atrocities of a war which none of them asked for. Devastatingly, more than a third of Ukrainian children (2.2 million) are left scattered amongst the shrapnel – but an unlikely friend from across the Mediterranean has come with the goal of bringing hope through the gospel.

Sami Yacoub, Regional Director of Focus on Family Middle East, heads Focus’ Associate Office 3,000-miles away in Cairo, Egypt. He also owns Eagles Printing, a global publishing company, and travels all over the world to share the good news. Sami’s journeys ultimately led him to a small print shop in Ukraine. Seeing a need in the beleaguered nation, Sami and his team had 25,000 Jesus Storybook Bibles (JSBB) translated, printed and distributed to children across war-torn areas.

Charles, a ministry partner overseas aiding with distribution, says Ukrainian children are the most effected:
“The children lose their fathers to the frontlines, they’ve lost friends, their homes and belongings are destroyed… their schools are also demolished and being used as refugee centers – which means all normal routines and education have stopped.”

Distribution was coordinated through over a dozen ministries and a network of 400 vehicles approved by the Ukrainian Bible Society; little did they know, this was just the start.

When Sami shared the positive feedback from this ministry effort, Focus on the Family U.S. stepped in to help provide an additional 30,000 copies for distribution right in the thick of the war zone.

In a message thread between Sami and Focus on the Family’s VP of Global Ministry Development, John Bethany, he even described how the gospel message in the JSBB impacted adults such as Alexander, the print shop manager in Ukraine:

“Unfortunately, I grew up in an environment where they do not believe in God… because I was born in the USSR. Children are not taught to love God. But, I am sure that he exists and loves me, and I love him, because he helped me many times – and sent us you, with a [print] order in this difficult time.

You have no idea what a help this is to our business, employees, and country. I thank God for people like you.”

This is living proof that the Lord’s arm is not too short to save, provide hope, and comfort the brokenhearted (Isaiah 59:1).

“They read the storybooks to escape reality. It is the most sought-after need.”

Sami Yacoub with Ukranian translation of the Jesus Story Book Bible

Sami Yacoub with the Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones, with translated foreword from Jim Daly

Obed (name changed for security) is 52 years old and an Elder of 400 families. His life changed when he saw his tribe change their behavior and begin to love children and their families. Obed said,
“I was not a Jesus follower. One day, I noticed that the families in my tribe were no longer coming to me to settle their fights and problems. Since this is my job, as a tribal leader, I began to investigate the reason for this change. That is when I learned that many had given their life secretly to Jesus and were following Him fervently for years. But their behavior had recently changed because they had received Jesus’ truth for families called the Six Stones!

After my people shared with me about Six Stones, I asked them to bring it to me because my own family was experiencing many troubles. In fact, my sons were trying to kill each other so they could inherit the tribal property. But Jesus and the Six Stones changed everything. First, I gathered all 400 families in my tribe and shared how Jesus had changed my life. I asked the entire tribe to follow me as I followed Jesus. Since my family had also become Jesus followers, they began to see the change in me through the Six Stones. Now all of our family is learning this and our problems are being solved.

Today I have great peace in my house, and with my children. And, by the mercy of God, 50+ nearby villages/ tribes are coming to me seeking peace and solutions given by God. I am telling them about Jesus and the Six Stones.

Thank you for bringing this blessing to our people.”

In fewer than 18 months, the Six Stones material has been translated into dozens of languages -including Urdu, Farsi, and Arabic- for people groups that are among the hardest to reach with the Good News.

Focus on the Family introduced No Apologies to help young people understand the importance of character. It touches on a number of important themes that teens have to think through, such as substance abuse, media influence, peer pressure, and God’s design for sex. It has been translated into more than 30 languages and taught in 70 different countries.

No Apologies started as a program to help teens understand the connection between choices and consequences through a Biblical worldview. But since the program’s inception, nearly 500,000 young people have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. The curriculum is centered around the value of each young person, their integrity, and making a commitment to their future.  It is a crucial message for a generation looking for purpose.

One colleague has shared that “If I only had one dollar left, I would invest that dollar in No Apologies, because I have seen the results.” Volunteers are using it in churches, Christian schools, public schools, youth camps, weekend seminars, even in corporate Human Resources training. It resonates with people in colleges in Asia and in rural schools in Africa. And God is using it to pull people into his family from all over the world.

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